Davy Jones, the lead singer of the the first manufactured band*, The Monkees, has died. Jones was 66. He suffered a heart attack this morning and was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Jones was hired to as the singer for The Monkees in 1965 by producers for NBC, who were hoping to make a manufactured knock-off of The Beatles for a television show. (The Beatles were not offended; in fact, asked by one of the members of The Monkees what he thought of the show, John Lennon replied, “I think you’re the greatest comic talent since the Marx Brothers. I’ve never missed one of your programs.”) Jones left The Monkees in 1971. There was talk as recently as last year, however, of a Monkees reunion.
In 2008, Davy Jones was voted by Yahoo! as the greatest teen idol of all time. The character of Chekhov, from “Star Trek,” was also inspired by Jones.
Here’s one of The Monkees’ more famous hits, “I’m a Believer,” which was written by Neil Diamond. It was the biggest hit of 1967 in America.
* (I have no idea if The Monkees were the first manufactured band, but they’re the first I’m familiar with.)